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Proton launches American communications satellite
Posted: Tue, May 15, 2001, 9:42 AM ET (1342 GMT)
Proton launch (file photo) A Russian Proton rocket successfully launched an American communications satellite Monday night. The Proton-K booster lifted off at 9:11 pm EDT (0111 GMT Tuesday) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and placed into orbit the PAS-10 communications satellite for PanAmSat. The Boeing 601HP satellite will be used by PanAmSat to provide broadcast and high-speed data services to portions of Europe, Africa, and Asia from its position in geosynchronous orbit at 68.5 degrees east. It will serve as a replacement for the PAS-4 spacecraft currently in that orbital slot: the PAS-4 spacecraft offers significantly less capacity than PAS-10 and is also operating on its backup control system after its primary controller failed in 1998. The launch is the first launch of the year for International Launch Services, the international consortium that markets the Proton and Atlas rockets for commercial launches, and is the second launch of the year for the Proton launch family, after the April launch of the first Proton-M, an upgraded version of the Proton, carrying a Russian communications satellite.
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